5 Best Miter Saws for 2020

My miter saw is without doubt the most important tool I’ve deployed when framing, shell building, shaping and sizing material.
They maintain efficiency, generate power and more fundamentally provide accuracy when performing vital tasks demanding consistent cuts. These afore mentioned attributes are necessary hall marks of a proficient miter saw.
And these should be paramount in your thoughts when considering a purchase.

Personal projects in the last 2 years demanding high usage of a miter saw included a sound-proofed music studio, 2 x tool sheds, 2 x work benches, 4 x 8ft flower boxes and replacement garage roof.
I’ve cut multiple materials including timber, decking, shiplap, resilient channels, MDF and MFC.
The saw was completely unfazed by what lay beneath the blade.
Secured, chopped. Next.

I don’t believe it unreasonable in declaring the miter saw as, without hesitation, the essential tool for large, repetitive, bulky cutting tasks.

I’m confident the time saved by having the best dedicated saw; the mighty compound/sliding miter saw, ensured high output, maximum efficiency, improved consistency and ultimately successful completion of all projects requiring internal & exoskeletal framework, and bespoke finishes.

For anyone needing a saw that’s entirely fit for purpose there really is not much room for debate.
And the key features of miter saw aren’t plentiful nor flashy – the core function is predominantly precision & power.
Making straight-forward bevel or angled cross-cuts, time and again, is its raison d’etre.
And it’s the ‘time and again’ aspect that’s important.

Consistency is key

Knowing you have a reliable machine producing exact cuts time and again is crucial to overall quality.
Any variation in length, even a millimeter can compromise a project severely.
Purchase wisely and you’ll remove any potential for delays, or more significantly being out of pocket.

I’ve operated various models extensively over the last 10 years.
My first miter saw was a hand-me-down courtesy of my dad. The mighty no frills, non-compound, store branded ‘Precision Pro’ sat sheepishly in a haggard brown box and delivered without fanfare.
Despite my Spock eyebrow raising as the baton was passed, it was gratefully received and more importantly meant I could kick-off the project on time.
And I did the business. Far better than expected.
It had obvious restrictions but never-the-less performed capably when building my first studio in 2010.

The dual room studio, constructed within a 750 sq-ft space meant pallets of stud-work and joists.
The saw, despite not having a sliding compound feature cut relatively well…however…and yes, unfortunately there is a however, produced inconsistent cuts after extensive use.

Initially I pointed the finger at myself; bad workmen blaming his tools, etc but got a reprieve when others confirmed the same results after making cuts same material thus deducing the hand-me-down was the culprit.
Vindicated, and somewhat disappointed.

A friend of mine offered to loan the bigger brother to the Precision Pro but wanted my own so spent a bit of time researching the necessaries to complete the job properly.

Choosing Wisely

Repeatedly cutting joists, studs, noggins, skirting, trusses, frames, etc demands precision, comfort, power and reliability.
A better model was essential. And not just for the project in hand but for many more to follow.
In most part I ‘got away with’ using the hand-me-down for a while (a position I encourage NO ONE to adopt) but understood the importance of using the right equipment. 

Somehow I convinced myself the volume of work grow sooner rather than later so ended up getting 2 saws; inevitable projects on the calendar prompted me into picking one up for my home and a 2nd heavy duty unit for the workshop.
The missus thought I was mad but again my foresight was justified as several concurrent projects arose demanding the need for two good quality miter saws.

My Arsenal

My home saw is a Draper Compound Sliding Miter Saw similar to the one below.

Draper double bevel compound sliding miter saw with laser guide

The workshop miter saw is a DeWalt double bevel, similar to the Draper but has the benefit of the mounting bench.
It’s used more frequently with a variety of materials and quite regularly goes off-site. Well battle hardened and totally reliable. 

When our bench saw is being used the miter saw comes into its own.
Its a capable substitute for certain cuts due to the wide stand and bevel feature. It’s not regularly deployed for heavy-duty ripping; our Altendorf manages that however when called into action the miter saw is capable of producing accurate rips.

Key Features for your miter needs

Attributes are generally interdependent when it comes to using power tools;
To ensure reliability and durability the operator involved must execute the function correctly. This relies on them being comfortable and understanding how the features of their tool work; power; speed; control. These attributes can be regulated depending on the job but all are reliant on knowing and not abusing the tool. 

Comfort + Optimum Control + Patience = Best results

Without having total control or being compromised by positioning, weight or balance is detrimental to safety, operations and the quality of output.
The device must be suitably positioned and correctly setup before any attempts at operating it.

Best 5 Miter Saws 2020

Speed (RPM)

Blade Size (")

Weight (lbs)

Compound

DeWalt DW716

3800 (no load)

12

20

no

DeWalt DWS780

3800 (no load)

12

56

yes

Makita LS1018L

4300 (no Load)

10

43.7

yes

Bosch CM10GD

4800 (no load)

10

60

yes

Hitachi C10FCH2

5000 (no load)

10

26.5

no

#1 DEWALT DW716

Why this saw?

The DW716 is one of the best available miter saws available in the market and is great value from a top manufacturer in DeWalt.

We can testify to the durability and accuracy of DeWalt tools. 
Whatever you need to cut, from timber, logs to iron mouldings, this thumping 15-Amp motor will make your task easier complete and more importantly accurate.
Consider this model if you  demand power without the need for a sliding compound feature.

DW715 saw has variable stainless-steel plates and positioned for 11 different positive stops
You can cross cut to crown moulds of 5.5 inches thickness against fence.`
The measurement system is metric for this saw.

Pros:

 – Great accuracy for bevel and miter alterations
 – Zero play
 – build quality

Cons:

 – Dust bag is not the best

Key features

  • Weight – 20 lbs
  • Speed – 3800 RPM (no load)
  • Dims – 27 x 27.5 x 20″
  • Motor Power – 15 AMP
  • Measurements – METRIC
  • Blade – 12″
  • 11 stops

Whats in the box?

  • 1 x saw
  • 1 x instructions
  • 1 x carbide blade
  • 1 x dust bag
  • 1 x blade wrench

Who’ll use this saw? DIY Enthusiasts / Professionals

Due to easy operations it can be used by anyone but will likely be deemed better value by professionals and DIY enthusiasts.
It has a small footprint and will occupy very little space in your garage or shed. 

Summary

The DW716 categorized as single bevel;  the bevel angles are on left side however it can cut to 48 degrees with a 3 degree turn to the right. 
Since the DeWalt is a compound miter saw 1 blade can adjust to 2 angles.
That may be pushing it a bit but it’s a valid feature.
DeWalt are a staple of many a shed and workshops globally and this model will serve anyone well for small-medium sized tasks.

#2 DEWALT DWS780

Why this saw?

The DWS780 is one of the best compound miter saws on the market.
This model is similar to ours and is utterly reliable, very powerful, accurate to the max and simply a beast!
DeWalt, put simply, produce a fantastic range of miter saws. 
The DWS780 is made up of stainless steel structure, which is great assurance for anyone concerned with longevity durability.

To make your task more efficient the DWS780 has new feature –  the XPS cross cut system. This XPS technology allows you to make cuts without adjustment but at the same time it sustaining accuracy throughout the job.

DWS780 has rather attractive attributes including a 15 amp motor providing 3800 rpm and plate adjustment up to 10 positive stops. The back fence design allows cuts of 90 degrees (2×16) and 45 degrees (2×12).

The measurement system is metric.

Pros:

 – Great accuracy for bevel and miter alterations
 – Zero play
 – Build quality

Cons:

 – Dust bag is not the best
 – Slider can stick if not maintained

Key features

  • Weight – 56 lbs
  • Speed – 3800 RPM
  • Motor Power – 15 AMP
  • Voltage – 120 volts
  • Blade – 12″
  • Double-bevel
  • Sliding compound
  • 1675W power
  • LED laser light

Whats in the box?

  • 1 x saw
  • 1 x instructions
  • 1 x carbide blade
  • 1 x dust bag
  • 1 x blade wrench
  • 1 x vertical material clamp.

Who’ll use this saw? DIY Enthusiasts / Professionals

This is one of the bigger brothers of DW716 and can be used by DIY enthusiasts and professionals alike.
Is a good 10 lbs heavier than the DW716 but far more flexible. 
May be overkill for occasional jobs around the home but onsite and in the workshop, beware. It’s a beast – very reliable and extremely versatile.

This product does not include a stand – we recommend the
DeWalt DW7550RS Rolling Saw Stand. Click here for stand information

Summary

DWS 780 bevel system allows you zero to 49 degrees with stops at 0, 22.5, 33.9, 45, and 49 degrees in both directions. I genuinely believe this tool is one of the best on the market.

It may weigh 56 pounds but you will get a tool thats built exceptionally well, is accurate and reliable. 

Another useful feature is the LED light – helps you to work more precisely and get precise cuts. 

In conclusion I would recommend anyone requiring a pro-level tool to seriously consider the DWS780 from Dewalt.

Nuff said.

#3 Makita LS1018L

Why this saw?

If you’ve read any of my other tool reviews & testimonies you’ll quickly realize my fondness for Makita tools.
Its usually the go-to manufacturer for most things bought for the workshop. 

Being a tool we’ve use for every large-scale job I can remember, the miter saw needs to have the basic features as standard; power, accuracy and control.
This offering from Makita has all that as standard.
The low weight – 43.7 lbs – is one of the best in its class and Makita build quality ensures durability. 

In terms of beveling, it miters 0° – 47° left and 0° – 60° right and has standard positive stops at 0°, 15°, 22.5°, 31.6°, 45° (left and right).
Easily slice through 4×4 wood very smoothly in one pass. 

You can perform the task of crown moulding seamlessly and also cut against 4-3/4 inches sliding fence system smoothly as well.
Precise and accurate cuts time and again. The saw features micro-adjustment features left of blade and right of the blade to make precise cuts. Moreover, the see-through blade guard system is also there for improving the visibility.

Pros:

 – Compact design
 – Low Weight
 – Build quality & clear markings

Cons:

 – Can be slightly complicated to operate initially

Key features

  • Weight – 43.7 lbs
  • Dims – 34 x 22 x 20″
  • Speed – 4300 RPM (no load)
  • Motor Power – 13 AMP direct drive
  • Rubberized handle
  • Rear handle bevel lock
  • Blade – 10″
  • Double-bevel
  • Sliding compound

Whats in the box?

  • 10″ 40T Miter Saw Blade
  • Triangle Rule For Miter Saws 
  • Vertical Vise 
  • Dust Bag 
  • Extension Wing 
  • Box Wrench, LS0815F 
  • Instructions

Who’ll use this saw? DIY Enthusiasts / Professionals

Makita exceed high standards for prosumer/professional products and overall, this miter saw performs exceptionally well –  you will get what you pay for. 
Will suit prosumers/DIY Enthusiasts with the low weight/low RPM and also for trades like carpentry and joinery without fuss or reservation.

Summary

This tool is steady choice for professionals who are looking for a saw with a blade that spins lower than 3600 RPM.
You can make use of this saw for making cabinets, crown moulding and much more.

If we talk about the value, this product is affordable along with having an interactive and simple to use interface.
Portability is another excellent attribute for considering this model. Simply things that makes one’s experience much better.
Makita…you’ll never know

#4 Bosch CM10GD

Why this saw?

Embedded with axial glide technology; wider cross-cuts, enhanced alignment and smooth glide for the life of the tool, this Bosch CM10GD is another superb saw from another reputable name in the list that makes every professional task much easier to manage.

The best thing about this axial glide system is the smaller footprint coupled durability that make it a straight-forward tool to operate. Moreover, the 90-degree miter and bevel ensure more precise cuts time and again.

Bosch CM10GD is embedded with dual-bevel glide miter – 52-Degree Left/60-Degree Right Miter Capacity; 47-Degree Left/47-Degree Right Bevel Capacity that offers a higher level of accuracy and cutting control to the users.
Along with the presence of 15 Amp motor, the tool provides 4,800 no-load RMP along with plenty of power which is excellent in terms of electrical saws.

Pros:

 – Durable
 – Axial Glide Technology
 – Build quality & clear markings

Cons:

 – Heaviest saw in the list
 – Some find the manual difficult to follow

Key features

  • Weight – 60 lbs
  • Speed – 4800 RPM (no load)
  • Motor Power – 15 AMP
  • Voltage – 120 volts
  • Dims – 32 x 26.5 x 20.5″
  • Blade – 10″
  • Dual-bevel
  • Sliding compound

Whats in the box?

  • 1 x Saw
  • 1 x 60-Tooth Blade
  • 1 x Material Clamp
  • 1 x Dust Bag

Who’ll use this saw? Prosumers/Professionals

This is a high-end professional tool that will aid many a workshop.
It’s robust and will suit carpenters, framers, joiners and anyone doing repetitive heavy duty chopping. 
If your needs are not so great and only an occasional user this tool may not suit you. If you want to spend a bit more on a tool that will last you a few generations this is it.

Summary

This is a thumping brute of a miter saw and will serve high-end professionals and aid many a workshop for decades.
Its relatively affordable and is low maintenance due to its excellent build quality.

We have a number of Bosch tools in the workshop, and despite the DeWalt/Makita dominance Bosch does make up part of the ‘Big Three’.
Reliable and well made as always from Bosch. 

#5 Hitachi C10FCH2

Why this saw?

The Hitachi C10FCH2 is a lightweight, great value miter saw that offers more basic and precise cuts with various woods from an excellent manufacturer of consumer and professional power tools.

It is a 26.5 pounds. Considerably lighter that the others in this list. This makes it attractively portable for numerous home projects and hobby enthusiasts. The presence of padded, durable and horizontal grip improves the portability capabilities of this saw much more and also makes it more stable.

One can easily bevel the saw from 0 to 52 degrees right/45 degrees left.
The onboard dust collector is one of the better ones, firmly attached with minimal leakage.

To offer enhanced accuracy and stability to the users, a pivot fence is added. Moreover, the soft start motor also contributes to precision. A Laser Marker always helps with accuracy.

Hitachi offers five-inch cutting capacity that makes it an ideal choice to be used for making narrower cuts like trimming and crown molding

Key features

  • Weight – 26.5 lbs
  • Speed – 5000 RPM (no load)
  • Motor Power – 15 AMP
  • Voltage – 120 volts
  • Dims – 20.5 x 16 x 13.5″
  • Blade – 10″
  • LED Laser
  • Single Bevel

Whats in the box?

  • 1 x saw
  • 1 x 10″ blade
  • 1 x extended fence
  • 1 x dust bag
  • 1 x vise assembly
  • 1 x box wrench
  • 1 x hex bar wrench.
  • instructions

Who’ll use this saw? Prosumers/DIY Enthusiasts/Professionals

Hitachi make excellent tools and the C10FCH2 will fit perfectly into the shed or garage of any DIY enthusiast.
Lots of power for occasional jobs and light enough to store when not needed.
Great for the tool shed! 

Summary

You get a lot of miter saw for your buck with this model and have peace of mind its made by a top manufacturer in Hitachi.
Lots of features included to benefit anyone using this tool.

Low weight is a huge plus for portability – I’ve had the benefit of a lighter saw I’ve used outside for many projects, weighing roughly the same as this model so a HUGE benefit when lugging it about. 

I’d recommend one of these to anyone needing a feature packed single bevel tool thats predominantly used for medium duty jobs.